Digital Property Rights
This week, the Game of Thrones caused quite a stir, and for once it wasn’t just because of who did or did not die horribly (although he did, and it was.)
In the day following episode 2’s airing, 1.5 million people torrented the show. At one point, just shy of 200,000 people were participating in the torrent simultaneously, a new record. Though there are many reasons why people are torrenting this show, including the fact that it isn’t available to watch in every country, there is one contributing factor that is particularly near and dear to my heart.
Let’s face it. Torrenting isn’t hard, and is getting easier all the time. The genie is well and truly out of this particular bottle. Some people do it because it is free, and others do it because it is easy but it is a third reason that seems most persuasive to me: because when you download the files you actually own them.
Marvel is taking a step in the right direction though, with their netflix style offering. For $69 a year, you can have unlimited access to more than 13,000 comic books. When my life is a little less busy I plan on trying out this service. I will of course let all of you know what I think.
There is a place in this world for owning and renting of course. I have no problem with either model. It is this hazy middle ground of we-sold-this-to-you-but-really that gets on my nerves.